I know I almost hit her. It scared me maybe more than it scared her. She was in my blind-spot. I checked but I didn't see her. Fortunately, I saw her just in time and swerved out of her lane. I gave her what I think of as the universal sign for both "I'm sorry" and "thanks." You know, the right arm raised in a little wave. I wanted to stay out of her way but I still needed to move into the left lane. I needed to turn. I was headed to work and work requires that particular left turn. So I pulled in front of her and turned left. She honked for what seemed like the 10th time and flipped me off. So angry. I hadn't meant to hurt her or scare her and yes, I know what it feels like to have someone unexpectedly move into your lane. It is very upsetting. But I didn't mean it. I simply didn't see her.
Today I watched a guy on a bike pull up to an intersection. He stopped and motioned a car to go ahead, all the while looking very pissed off. I watched as he crossed in front of me obviously talking to all motorists. As he made his last sprint across the street he raised his hand and flipped us all off. He was so angry and yet none of us were out of place. We were simply obeying the same traffic lights he was subject to.
It occurred to me as I watched both incidents that such anger was unnecessary and in the end affected only those who were angry. Life is full of people pulling out in front of you. Life is full of cars and yes, this makes biking more dangerous, but is it worth the health of your own spirit? Does it warrant such fury?
I too have yelled and even flipped-off drivers, but in the end I feel no better. I am left shaking with fury. My spirit feels hollow. The anger is not worth it. Sure, there are times when one must be angry and act with righteous indignation, but surely a young woman in a blue Honda that obviously did not mean to come into your lane does not deserve your fury. Surely she is not worth that much energy.